I can see we probably have very different definitions of "general-purpose language" :-). You referred me to CPAN. I do audio processing with perl myself, but I keep it to MIDI data. I don't think perl is fast enough to do Wave data processing in real-time, or image processing. Well, there are image processing modules on CPAN, but these are written in C, with perl glue code.
Maybe the real problem is that I am expecting things of Perl it was not originally meant to do. For me, one of my dreams is to write well-performing desktop apps in perl*. Yes, I know about WxPerl, PerlTk etc., but I wouldn't want to use them for a major project (I know others do). I find the startup time and performance not up to what I would want it to be. The point is probably moot with modern 3-Ghz machines, but I am still working mostly on 200-500 Mhz Pentiums or G4s these days.
*and I realize most people here aren't interested in that at all.